Dr Sophie Watt

Sophie Watt


Telephone: (0114) 222 2883
Email: s.watt@sheffield.ac.uk


BA (Paris VII), MA (Paris VII)
MA, PhD (University of Iowa, USA)


I studied history as an undergraduate at the University of Paris VII where I also completed a Masters Degree in colonial history working on the rise of the nationalist movement in Cambodia. After a few years of teaching in France and Scotland I completed a Masters Degree in French and Francophone literature and an interdisciplinary PhD in Modern French History and Literature at the University of Iowa. Following the completion of my doctoral thesis on ‘The Discursive Construction of Minority Identities in Modern France’ I took up a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Aberdeen Before joining the department of French at the University of Sheffield.

Research Interests

• Colonial and neo-colonial history, literature and cinema
• Cultural history and memory
• Postcolonial theories of textuality and discourse analysis (production and writing of history)
• Trauma and Violence in Contemporary France
• Identity constructions (Jewish and colonized in particular)
• Critical Discourse analysis and Translation Studies

Current and Recent Research Projects

I am currently working on a number of projects dealing with France’s neo-colonial involvement in its former colonies and on a collaborative project, with Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson, dealing with the representation of migration in France: Calais in Focus: The Bigger Picture, the Longer Story. I am preparing a monograph entitled The French Neo-colonial Republic: Haiti, Mali and Central African Republic, the New Wars on/of Terror. I am also working on a book project with Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson.

Key Recent Publications

  • Crawley-Jackson, A. J. & Watt, S. L. (2017). “La Bataille d’Alger on the colonial warfare at the roots of a new world order” (Forthcoming)
  • Watt, S. L. (2017). “France and the ‘War on Terror’: Mali 2013” SFPS special issue of the Journal of Romance Studies. (Forthcoming)
  • Watt, S. L. (2017). “Teaching the 2004 coup in Haiti from a French perspective: an Insight into global Neo-Imperial Culture and Practices. In V. K. Orlando and C. Accilien (Eds.), Teaching Haiti Beyond Literature: Intersectionalities of History, Literature and Culture. (Forthcoming)
  • Watt, S. L. (2016). “Mathieu Pernot and Les Migrants: Voicing the silence and Exposing French neo-colonial history and practices.” In 21st Century Engagements: Countering Crisis. University of Wales Press.
  • Watt, S. L. (2014). “Un pass ́e qui ne passe pas ... un myst`ere sans cesse redécouvert”. In Rewriting Wrongs French Crime Fiction and the Palimpsest (pp. 31–47). Cambridge Scholars Pub.
  • Watt, S. L. (2011). “Alexandre Arcady and the re-writing of French Colonial History in Algeria.” In K. Marsh & N. Frith (Eds.), France’s Lost Empires: Fragmentation, Nostalgia and la fracture coloniale (pp. 69–80). Lexington Books.
  • Watt, S. L. (2010). “The Discursive Construction of Minority Identities in Third Republic France: The 1937 Madagascar Plan, Exemplification of Republican Racism.” In H. Frendo (Ed.), The European Mind: Narrative and Identity (Vol. 1, pp. 236–240). Malta University Press.
  • Watt, S. L. (2009). “Comparative Analysis of Three ‘Human’ Exhibitions: The Semiotic Construc- tion of the Jewish and Colonised subjects.” In L. Rorato & A. Saunders (Eds.), The Essence and the Margin: National Identities and Collective Momeries in Contemporary European Culture (Vol. 15, pp. 37–50). “Studia Imagologica” series vol. 15, Rodopi (Amsterdam).

Postgraduate Research

PhD Thesis Supervision:

  • Harriet Orkney (Sheeld, 2015 - present), main supervisor, “Geopolitical Comparative Analysis of foreign interventions in Haiti, Chad and Cˆote d’Ivoire.” (French Studies and Business School)
  • Thomas Jackson (Sheeld, 2015 - present), co-supervision, “The French colonial mind: an insight into the pivotal role of La loi-cadre De↵erre.” (French Studies and History)

I am interested in supervising research in the following areas:

• Colonial and neo-colonial history.
• Inter-war period and Vichy France (History, Literature and cinema).
• Cultural memory
• Trauma and violence in contemporary France
• Critical discourse analysis and translation studies


• FRE6663/4 MA in French Studies: Constructions of the Body (a unit on ‘Le Juif et la France’)
• FRE6700 MA in French Studies: Advanced Translation from French
• FRE6653 /6654 French Cultural Studies I & II (a unit on Minority Identities in Modern France: ‘human exhibitions’)

I teach French language at all levels, and the following modules
• FRE289/90 French Cultural Studies
• FRE281/2 French Revolutionary Traditions
• FRE385/6 Constructions Identitaires dans la France du XXe siècle
• FRE 387/98 Haïti : La Tragédie Histoire, politique et littérature de l’époque coloniale à nos jours

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Language Programme Director (2016-Present)
  • Co-Director of the international MA Mundus Crossways in Cultural Narratives (2012-Present)